One of the country’s wealthiest and most successful businessmen claims wealthy Australians “can and should” pay more tax, after the federal government announced people with more than $3 million in superannuation would lose tax concessions.
Australians with more than $3 million in their superannuation accounts will now have their concessional tax rate doubled from July 1, 2025, in a move predicted to save the budget $2 billion a year.
Labor said superannuation is costing the budget $50-billion with the move forecast to impact less than 0.5 per cent of all Australians with a super account.
Famous entrepreneur Dick Smith has since come out saying rich people should be paying more as the “country needs money”.
Dick Smith said the wealthiest Aussies should be paying more tax. Picture: Supplied
“It’s a fantastic country, it’s got incredible education, roads, military, everything and it needs money to pay for that and we’re into great debt, and we should be paying the debt off and not letting our kids have to do that in the future,” he told 2GB on Tuesday.
When questioned if superannuation was “sacred” by Ben Fordham, Mr Smith said no.
Mr Smith said it was “ridiculous” someone had $544 million in their super fund.
“You don’t actually need $500 million to retire,” the entrepreneur said.
“All I’m saying is wealthy people like me … I’ve always said we can pay a bit more tax.
“The wealthy can pay some more tax so we can pay some of the debt back and our kids and grandkids don’t have to pay.”
The average superannuation balance is about $150,000. And of the 80,000 people with more than $3 million in their accounts, the average is about $6 million.
Mr Smith said the government shouldn’t be targeting mums and dads and “typical wage earners” should be paying less tax.
Australians with more than $3 million in their super accounts will have their concessional tax rate doubled from 2025. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
However, he said the wealthy people can afford to pay 15 per cent more.
“We have 100 billionaires in this country, they are the greediest out … they complain constantly about the tax they have to pay when they can easily afford it,” he said.
Mr Smith became one of the richest men in Australia after he successfully grew his electronics business from $610 in 1968 to $1.4bn in 2014.
The opposition have accused Labor of being “tricky”, given the change to concessional tax rates – from 15 per cent to 30 per cent – won’t come into effect until 2025-26, after the next election.
Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor said the government had totally disregarded Australians.
“It’s clear this has been rushed out, but what is also clear, is that when the Labor Party runs out of money, it comes after yours,” he said.
“We’re going to see, I’m confident, a lot more of this from the Labor Party.
“This is a Labor Party that wants to spend your money, and is going to have to tax all Australians in order to be able to do that.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was an “important reform” that did not change the fundamentals of the superannuation system, but made it more sustainable for the future.